Thursday, November 30, 2006

Why is the Civil War Label Important?

At, Michael Medved posts an interesting article called "Why the Insane Obsession with the 'Civil War' Label for Iraq?" on his blog. I'd been noticing that battle to have the Iraq situation labeled a civil war--it buzzed in the back of my mind like a stray housefly, but I didn't pay too much attention to it. I just wondered at it.

Michael Medved writes,

Critics of the Bush administration’s Iraq policies have been obsessed for more than a year with an odd effort to designate the struggle as a “civil war.” This week, NBC News as a matter of policy agreed to call the conflict a “civil war,” while UN Secretary General Kofi Anan and even former Secretary of State Colin Powell also suggested that this might be an appropriate description for the current state of the struggle. Anti-war forces are jubilant over their apparent rhetorical victory, but offer no explanation whatever as to why it’s important. Even if the whole world embraces the “civil war” phrase, why is that significant in any way for shaping future policy?

Obviously, anti-war forces would maintain that once we acknowledge that a civil war is raging on the ground, it becomes clear and inescapable that we have no role to play and we’ll be forced to pull our troops far away from the warring combatants.

But where has it ever been established that the U.S. can’t get involved in “civil wars”?

He goes on to write an interesting, if brief, history of a number of times when the US has been involved in various civil wars around the world, including
In Bosnia and Kosovo the United States (under President Clinton) also inserted itself into the midst of horrible civil wars and, in both cases managed to reduce the nightmarish killing which, in its genocidal horror, far exceeded even the current misery of Iraq.

He then writes

This history is worth reciting only to defeat the idiotic leftist assumption that if Iraq gets classified by everyone as a civil war (a bogus classification, but one that’s gaining ground) then it means that the argument is over – we most get out.

Why? Since when? Who says?
It is an idiotic assumption that somehow labeling the war in Iraq as a civil war means we have to pick up our toys and go home. But so often, that is the way leftists and liberals play--with words, semantics, whatever.

Michael Medved ends with this:

And even if you succeed in forcing this unique and tragic war into that classic label, you’re still left with one huge, unanswerable, inescapable two word question---


The man makes a most excellent point.

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At 5:58 PM, Blogger Titus Todd said...

It is rare I don't agree with Michael Medved. I listen his talk radio show every day. This (and the other article) are not an exception.

At 7:27 PM, Blogger Mary A said...

He seems to have his feet firmly on the ground, doesn't he, Titus? He's more than an entertainment critic, although I enjoy what he has to say there, too.


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